U.S. IMMIGRATION SERVICES EXPLAINED :
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
NONE OF WHAT FOLLOWS IS TO BE CONSIDERED LEGAL ADVICE.
IMMIGRATION LAWS CHANGE FREQUENTLY AND THESE FAQ MAY BE OUTDATED. Please consult a skilled immigration attorney before making any decision regarding your immigration status or planned visit to the USA. Content is updated frequently and is also posted on our FACEBOOK Page.
HOW DO I KNOW I CAN TRUST YOU TO BE MY ATTORNEY?
This is a very difficult decision and we encourage you, among other things, to read the letters from our previous clients. Everybody should trust fully in their attorney, and we want you to be completely confident that your case will be given the individual importance that it deserves. We take pride in the level of personal attention and the quality of legal assistance we provide. Feel free to compare us to bigger firms on the level of attention that you will receive.
DO YOU OFFER FREE CONSULTATIONS?
No. We feel that we provide a lot of useful information, exploring all the options available to the client. The first consultation is usually a very important step in the analysis of the case and in making important strategy decisions that will affect the future of our clients and requires us to interview the client in depth. We, therefore, feel that we should be compensated for our efforts.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO HAVE A FIRST CONSULTATION?
See our CONSULTATION page
CAN I HAVE A CONSULTATION IN ITALIAN?
Yes. Attorney Scagliarini is bilingual in both English and Italian.
IF I EMAIL YOU, CAN YOU GIVE ME A QUICK QUOTE ON HOW MUCH IT WILL COST FOR YOU TO HANDLE MY CASE?
No. We feel that each of our clients is unique and each case has unique circumstances. The clients that we consider a good match to our law firm will understand this concept, will not consider their immigration and visa cases as commodities, and will not just shop for the lowest bidder. We respectfully ask you not to ask for an internet quote, this is contrary to our approach to the attorney-client relationship.
DO YOU OFFER A FLAT FEE AGREEMENT?
Yes, in most cases after the first consultation we are able to offer a flat fee (fixed) agreement for our services covering all or parts of the work to be done in the foreseeable future.
CAN I HAVE AN HOURLY FEE ARRANGEMENT?
Yes if you prefer we can agree to bill on an hourly basis. See our consultation page for our current hourly fee.
WHO IS GOING TO HANDLE MY CASE?
Attorney Giuseppe Scagliarini personally reviews each case. Some preparatory matters (drafting forms, gathering information, handling basic correspondence) may be handled by our staff under the supervision of Attorney Scagliarini.
HOW LONG WILL MY CASE TAKE?
We can make an informed guess at the time of the consultation as to how long it currently takes to process a case like yours. Processing times however change constantly and it may take longer or shorter to process your individual cases, based on a variety of factors.
HOW CAN I STAY UPDATED ON IMPORTANT IMMIGRATION AND VISA NEWS?
You can “like” our Facebook page to receive automated updates and news in the rapidly changing world of U.S. Immigration and U.S. Visas.
I am a US citizen, can I “sponsor” my brother/sister? How long do they have to wait for a Green Card?
Yes, you may file an immigrant petition for your brother/sister, but siblings are not considered “immediate relatives”, therefore cannot concurrently file for adjustment of status and face a substantial wait time. They are classified as beneficiaries of a 4th family-preference petition and according to the DOS Visa Bulletin currently face a nearly 10 year wait. Also, your brother/sister should consult with a skilled immigration attorney if they want to visit the US temporarily during this wait period to discuss the issue of “immigrant intent”.
I am a freelance translator, can I get a visa to work in the U.S. ? Freelancers are tough. A simple B-1 temporary visa does not allow for gainful employment while in the U.S. (regardless of where the money is paid) and most employment visa categories require a U.S. Petitioner. This candidate probably does not qualify for a visa.
I have an I-140 pending, can I premium process it?
Not all I-140 categories are amenable to premium processing. See http://www.uscis. gov/files/article/premproc_22jun09.pdf
I have entered the U.S. under the visa waiver program and was admitted for 90 days. Now I have found a school that I am interested in attending, can I change my status and extend my stay without going back to my home country? No – A person admitted pursuant to the Visa Waiver program expressly waives any and all rights to seek an extension or change of his/her nonimmigrant status. You will have to go back to your home country and apply for the proper visa at the local U.S. Consulate.
I have entered the U.S. with a B-1/B-2 visa can I extend/change my status?
Maybe – Under the appropriate set of circumstances A B-1/B-2 entry can be extended/changed. Please note that the applicant bears the burden of proving nonimmigrant intent.
I am the spouse of an E-1, E-2 or L-1 visa holder and have just entered the U.S. – am I legally authorized to work and can I obtain a Social Security Number? Although since at least 2002 the law has provided that the spouse of E and L principals are authorized to work and although in some cases the Social Security Administration has issued Social Security Numbers to such dependent spouses, USCIS has taken the position that an E or L spouse must file and obtain a separate employment authorization to be legally authorized to work in the U.S. This is in my opinion nothing but a thinly veiled attempt to extort more filing fees, and serves no other practical purpose. Be as it may, in order to prevent a future charge of unauthorized employment and possible problems upon an application for extension or change of status, as of this writing (11/4/2010) the safest course of action is probably to obtain a separate employment authorization by filing form I-765 with USCIS.